Saturday, August 4, 2012

Zohra Saed's "Kandahar"

Split This Rock 
Poem of the Week - 
Zohra Saed                                                             
Zohra Saed          

Behave or the sleeping Alexander will reclaim your lungs.

Kandahar -
............Was once a cube of sugar
Refusing to dissolve in the sea.
It became a city from sheer stubbornness.

Alexander naively said,
"This is my land!"

causing the earth to giggle and birth him a wife
Rukhshana. (Roxanna if you prefer).
This wife refused to dissolve in his sea.

We know how the bright sun found him
The next day - snuffed by an ornate embroidered pillow -
The pillow and the three drops of Alexandrian blood
Have been preserved by the mountains.

Kandahar could never be Alexandria after that delicious.....murder.

-Zohra Saed       

Used by permission.
Originally published in notebook #105 from documenta(13)   
Zohra Saed is the co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature(University of Arkansas Press). Her poetry has appeared in:Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality Ed. Sarah Hussein (Seal Press); Speaking for Herself: Asian Women's Writings Ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar and Savita Singh (Penguin India); Seven Leaves One Autumn Ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar and Savita Singh (Rajkamal Prakashan Publishing: New Delhi, India); and most recentlySahar Muradi & Zohra Saed: Misspelled Cities (Notebook #105, documenta 13).  

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